Yam and pineapple dessert: Dulce de camote con piña

This delicious dessert is a perfect example of the Afro-Cuban influence on Gulf coast cooking, combining pineapple, a plantation crop, with yams or sweet potatoes, a West African staple. Ingredients: 2 pounds orange yams, washed, peeled and finely chopped 1 1/2 cups sugar 4 slices fresh pineapple (about 1 1/2″ thick apiece), cored and finely […]

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Vanilla: a Mexican native regains its reputation

Mention vanilla, and people are apt to think of the ice-cream flavor they select when confronted with a mind-boggling choice involving everything from chirimoya to cheesecake: “just plain vanilla.” What started out as one of the most exotic flavors to be introduced to the European palate has come to be equated with blandness. Even more […]

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Mexican enchiladas in peanut sauce from Xico, Veracruz © Karen Hursh Graber, 2014

Mexican enchiladas with peanut sauce: Dobladas de cacahuate

Dobladas means “folded,” and these tortillas can be filled or not before folding into quarters, bathed in peanut sauce, and sprinkled with cheese. Ingredients For the dobladas: Vegetable oil for soft frying tortillas 12 six- to eight-inch corn tortillas ½ pound of chicken or pork, cooked and shredded or an equal amount of shredded cheese, if […]

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Veracruz style empanadas with tuna: Volovanes de Minilla

One of the most famous street snacks of Veracruz, this puff pastry empanada is flavored with the classic Spanish combination of raisins and olives, with the distinctly Veracruz touch of pickled jalapeños. I think of it as a fish picadillo. You can use any leftover cooked fish, flaked, in place of tuna. If you live in a […]

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Veracruz-style Mexican black bean soup with masa balls © Karen Hursh Graber, 2014

Mexican black bean soup with masa balls: Sopa de frijoles negros con bolitas de masa

Mexican black bean soup with masa balls could easily be a whole meal, accompanied by a salad. A nopales salad or a watercress and spinach salad would both be good choices. Ingredients For the soup: 2 tablespoons lard or oil ½ medium onion 1 roma tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped 2 cups cooked black beans […]

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